The Broken Belt: Meteorite Concentrations on Stranded IceSince the first Antarctic meteorite concentrations were discovered more than 25 years ago, many theories regarding the role of iceflow in the production of meteorite concentrations have been put forward, and most agree on the basic principles. These models suggest that as the East Antarctic icesheet flows toward the margins of the continent, meteorites randomly located within the volume of ice are transported toward the icesheet margin. Where mountains or subsurface obstructions block glacial flow, diversion of ice around or over an obstruction reduces horizontal ice movement rates adjacent to the barriers and creates a vertical (upward) component of movement. If local mechanisms for ice loss (ablation) exist at such sites, an equilibrium surface will develop according to the balance between ice supply and loss, and the cargo of meteorites is exhumed on a blue ice surface. The result is a conceptual conveyor belt bringing meteorite-bearing volumes of ice from the interior of the continent to stagnant or slowmoving surfaces where ice is then lost and a precious cargo is left as a lag deposit. Cassidy et al. provides an excellent overview of how this model has been adapted to several Antarctic stranding surfaces.
Harvey, R. P. (Case Western Reserve Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)